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Building a cage (mice)

2444 Views 3 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Mousey

I am a new mouse mommy (though not a new to rodents). As of last month, being suprised by both of my mice giving birth three weeks later (last tuesday.), I now have 17 mice.
Though I may have two homes for 4 of my pups in a few weeks, I'm still going to have a large crowd to satisfy space with. (Two mothers, 15 pups- even giving 4 away leaves me with 11.)

Small pets are my hobby, so the aspect of owning all of them doesn't overwhelm me really- it's rather exciting. I'm a homebody highschool student, so the cost and the time is really no issue for me. (In fact my old plans were getting a horse, but I just don't have at least $350 a month to put towards it.- Mice, even in this quantity, is nothing compared to horse care.)

So now that I've got that all explained, I'd like to ask all of you fellow mouse owners for your ideas and advice in making this mega-sized cage. (Not mega necessarily because they need a lot of room, but because I personally want to make a really big, amazing cage that will give them a lot to do in it *and would be fun to show off :D*)

I'm a very artsy person, so coming up with a design for the cage will not be difficult for me. I do have a few questions though- first I'll lay my idea out to you.

The dementions I'm not sure of yet (which is one of the things I wanted to ask- how much room should each mouse have? Especially the males, since they're territorial.)

I would need to come up with some sort of large cage bottom, and for ventilation I need to find some sort of (cage)wire for the sides, doors, and tops. I would want this to be one big cage that is seperated into two sections, obviously one part being for males, one part being for females. I also want to make multiple stories in the cage.

Now for the questions:

1. What sort of material should I have for the bottom? I know wood for anything is not a good idea, since the wood will absorb the pee. It would need to be something durable so they can't knaw through it, and easy to clean. I want the cage to over all be a really good quality, but not necessarily made with very expensive materials.

2. Is there any sort of wiring in particular out there that could be used that's small enough for mice not to fit through? For bigger rodents, some say to use the wired shelfing, fooling with a few of those to come up with some good walls for guinea pigs, rats, etc. Of course, that's WAY too big a spacing for mice....

3. For seperating it into two sections, I've heard that mice have mated through cage bars.... I don't need any more mouse babies anytime soon. What should I use for the dividers? (For those worrying, I believe that out of the 15 only 6 are males- who knows, maybe some of my friends will take some and that number will go down. Either way, I'm seeing if they get along- hopefully by giving them a lot of room to mark out their own territories, they'll cooperate. If they don't, I will seperate them in the many other cages I've got floating around, and one lucky buck will be reciving the bachlor's suite.)

4. What should I make the upper level platforms out of? More material like the bottom?
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There is a high cahnce the males will fight. I've only had a few out of alot that would live together. And they were hand reared by me due to an emergency. I've had galss aquariums with secure mesh lids. I've even put dividers in some with plexi glass.
But the girls would jump to the top of the cage and end up on the other side of the cage. If the girls are next to the boys in this fashion then there is a high possibility that the boys will do the saem as they will be more determined (due to mating nature)

Bin cages might be somethign to look at. I made a few for my girl colonies. That way I could make multi0level habitats. You can find alot on google. If you get a bin make sure it is well ventilated and the bottoms is smooth and would be hard for a mouse to chew.

Also you can get custom made glkass tanks too. They cost alot more but they can get the job done. Plexi-glass can sometimes start smelling like the urine. Beause it is porus and asorbs odors no matter how clean it sis. No wood bedding unless its aspen or hemp. The others can cause serious infections.
For large female communities each mouse needs their own little territory along with a few extras and a big community house. This way they have their spot to get down time, to reduce stress and fighthing.

The mice should be sexed and seperated at 24-28 days.
hope this helps
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Hnm, well you bring up a good point about them being able to get over some barriers between them- most rodents can get through anything they can get their heads through.

It won't be a 2-day project that's easy to throw together- this is an all out project I'd work hours on for the next month with my father and my uncle, who are techy/builder type of people who would help me make sure it's fool-proof- or rather, mouse proof. I'm not someone rushing to make a cage just to have it- I'm a complete and total perfectionist when it comes to making things, needing it to be the best of the best and the most unique and genius thing I myself has ever seen.

I'm thinking then as 'one cage' it's more of two cages on the same base- two seperate completely enclosed areas with a some distance inbetween them so they could not possibly have any contact. I could connect water bottles and wheels to those areas, then not being in the way on the outside of the cages.

Again, I'll only seperate the males if it's a must- seeing that it'll be a MUCH larger area than most people have for their mice, with plenty of areas for each of them to mark, so unless my mice are complete and total bullies by nature, they shouldn't be as aggressive. I hope it works out, but again, if that's the case I'll seperate the ones I need to seperate- I'd prefer them to live alone than to die together.

Perhaps if it got to that point I'd seal off the levels and make more doors so the one male cage becomes multiple cages for them. (It would be a wide and tall enough cage that doing that would still leave them with plenty of space. I'm literally talking about a cage that's bigger than most rodent cages, even for big rodents (they would really have a surplus amount of room)- just because I think it will be a really fun project, and it will definitely give them all enough space to do as they like.) Or, perhaps from the start I should make the ramps up to the other levels like doors, so they can be shut off if need be.... Hnm....
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When you make it keep in mind the dismantling and cleaning part. I made some awesome cages but forgot I needed to clean the ramps at the time. :(. But it gave me room to improve haha. There are lost of ways to make rodent cages. Mice just require smaller bar spacing or more Just be careful as males can get hurt in fights quite fast. Usually you can hear them squeaking the others before it gets to that point though.

Yes they can mate thorugh bars.
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